• Welcome to Our Broadway Theatre; Please Turn On Your Phones

    By Bizzy Coy

    Published June 10, 2016 in The New Yorker's Daily Shouts
    Link to original
  • Ladies and gentlemen and scruffy teens who won the digital ticket lottery, welcome to our show. At this time, we invite you to turn ON all cell phones, tablets, and other electronic devices and connect to our theatre’s free Wi-Fi.


    Please, please do this. We’re begging you. Our digital-media consultant convinced us to spend a lot of money installing free Wi-Fi in a building where the plumbing barely functions. If you could connect for just three minutes before the curtain rises, that would be a huge relief.


    Speaking of plumbing, be aware that the bathrooms in this venue predate the invention of color television. Therefore, we kindly request that you not flush anything.


    Once you’re connected to the Internet, take a moment to follow tonight’s show on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. By doing so, you’ll have access to all sorts of clever branded content and will be able to take part in many engaging conversations. Also, follow our composer, lyricist, and any of the cast members whose head shots in the Playbill you find attractive.


    DO NOT follow Knox Avery (Ensemble/Swing), who is still bitter about his contract and whose posts do not reflect the views of the show’s producers.


    Warning: this production utilizes strobe lights, gunshots, and our patent-pending KittenCannon™.


    If you have not yet taken a selfie, please do so now. It’s O.K. I’ll wait.


    When posting your picture, we suggest that you avoid mention of the comfort level of the seats. Instead, how about trying a caption that alludes to the flourishing state of live theatre (#TheatreIsntDead), how hard the producers considered casting women and people of color (#WeTried), or how free the Wi-Fi is (#FreeWiFiWithFullPriceTicket). Thank you. We look forward to sharing your photo on our social channels without your permission.


    We now offer cocktail pre-ordering! Simply download our inconvenient new app and virtually place your drink order before the first act. We’ll have it watered down and waiting for you at the bar at intermission. We apologize for the sippy cups, but you people have been spilling all over the place.


    Breaking announcement: at tonight’s performance, the leading role will now be played by Knox Avery (Ensemble/Swing).


    Reminder: no matter how tempting it is, we ask that you not discuss the price of your seats with neighboring patrons.


    Be warned that the taking of photos and video is strictly prohibited, unless you can ensure that your video will become an overnight sensation that drives awareness and ticket sales. If an usher asks you to put your camera away, please be considerate and politely present a viral-marketing strategy that proves a direct correlation between online video views and consumer conversion.


    Ladies and gentlemen, the lights are now being dimmed, and that means it’s time to turn off your electronics and place them safely out of sight. Should your phone ring, vibrate, or glow during the course of the performance, please know that you may be screamed at, followed to your car, or otherwise incapacitated by Knox Avery (Ensemble/Swing), who does not need your noisy device stealing his precious, all-too-brief moment in the spotlight.


    Law enforcement has been notified and is standing by.


    Since the beginning of this announcement, our marketing intern has decided to create a Snapchat account. Please turn your phones back on—or, you know, pretend to turn them back on because you never turned them off—and follow us for some other kind of content. (We don’t really know yet how Snapchat works.)


    O.K., shut down your devices again. For real this time, guys.


    After the curtain call, cast members will be standing in the lobby with red donation buckets. We invite you to give what you can to support our Broadway community’s charitable endeavors. As a reminder, these buckets are for cash, not trash. Please do not put chewed gum in the donation buckets. I can’t believe I have to say this every night.


    Also, if Knox Avery (Ensemble/Swing) holds out a bucket to you, please do not place your hand near it. Trust me, it’s a trap.

    Finally, avoid comparing our production to “Hamilton.” We can’t all be “Hamilton.”


    Thank you, and enjoy the show.